Sony UMC S3CA block camera: A7S II sensor in an even tinier package – NAB 2017

Sony’s UMC S3CA takes the sensor from an A7S II, strips almost everything else away and puts it in a body similar to the company’s existing UMC S3C. It’s designed to be mounted on drones, gimbals or VR rigs, or even used as a crash cam on bigger productions.

Sensor and lens mount

The sensor is 35mm full frame and uses a standard Sony E-mount, which opens up a range of possibilities for lenses, especially as Sony’s native E-mount glass tends to offer fly-by-wire focusing. Although that can be a little awkward to use manually, here you’ll be able to dial in focus remotely.

Control: remote options

To control the camera there are only a couple of options: an 8-pin DIN socket and a Micro USB port. The DIN pins will allow wired remote controls to start and stop recording, and the USB port will allow a few more interesting options. One useful feature is Genlock over USB, which will allow you to sync up rigs of cameras like the one below from Radiant Images.

There’s a micro HDMI out if you want to record externally, but also an onboard SD card slot if you’d rather roll internally.

The camera runs on a standard 12V electric system and draws around 20W, so power management is probably only going to be a big issue if you’re running a big rig of multiple cameras like the one above.

Pricing and availability

No word on when you’ll be able to get one just yet – Sony consider this to be something of a tech demo and it sounds like they’re waiting for potential partners to come to them with ideas for the tech. A similiar story with pricing – “More than a little, less than a lot” is as far as our Sony rep would be drawn.

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